This early work is one of Miró’s most important paintings. It combines recognisable Catalan imagery with the surrealist style he developed in Paris. The semi- figurative imagery, including that of a traditional peasant’s cap, appears to float in a translucent, dreamlike space; the carefully mapped composition is full of meaning, but deliberately defies concrete interpretation.
Head of a Catalan Peasant
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on canvas 92 x 73 cm © Successió Miró / ADAGP, Paris and DACS London 2018.
One of the most iconic artists of the twentieth century, Joan Miró’s engaging and richly coloured works are underpinned by a profound concern for humanity and the importance of liberty. Born in Barcelona in 1893, he moved to Paris in 1920 where he became an influential figure in the surrealist movement. However, his identity as a Catalan remained central to his work throughout his life. He responded to the turbulent times he lived through – escaping wartime France and living under the Franco regime in Spain – by developing a deeply personal language of signs and symbols that he used throughout his long career.